Admit it: Now is the time for juniors to start the college admission process. Over the past months, we have witnessed seniors diligently completing essays, scheduling interviews and visiting numerous college campuses. The next year will be pivotal for juniors and their families engaging in college admission. Although admission grows more competitive and the process is ever changing, the process does not have to be tumultuous. Crisp Consulting + Coaching would like to offer a few strategies for juniors entering the college application process.
Start the college search. There are myriad guide books such as Fisk Guide to Colleges, The Best 376 Colleges, and Yale’s The Insider’s Guide to the Colleges. These provide accurate statistical information about information and yield useful information about the academic and social nature of campuses. Equally, Unigo and College Solved are websites that can offer insight from admission personnel, current students and educational consultants. Your academic, social and financial parameters should govern your search and yield a final list of 8 – 10 schools that would be best fitting.
Start a testing calendar. At this time, you should have the results of the PLAN and the PSAT/NMSQT. Many students have already taken the SAT. These results can help you determine whether you should take the ACT or SAT. Compare your choice with the college testing requirements. There are a few selective schools who no longer require the SAT or ACT. Craft a calendar of testing dates. This calendar should include the dates for the AP Exams and SAT Subject tests. We suggest completing the ACT and SAT by early fall.
Start visiting campuses. Juniors should be visiting potential-fitting colleges. Burton College Tours is a fantastic source for visiting many schools. Making this contact with schools is critical in the application process and is often neglected by many. This can be a potentially-damaging misstep. Research aspects of the school before you visit. Make sure you schedule time with the admission officer representing your high school.
Start organizing. Dedicate time and space for college essays, application material, and guidebooks. These organizational tools should be both physical and virtual. Folders for correspondences, materials and dates are essential. Discard any information not pertinent to your application process. In addition, enlist the assistance of your guidance counselor and educational consultant. A professional will assist you with a time line and calendar.
Brian D. Crisp is an independent educational consultant with Crisp Consulting + Coaching who works with families in Asheville, Charleston, Raleigh-Durham and Savannah to optimize and realize their unique educational fit and admission success. As a former professor, administrator, and teacher, Brian has the knowledge and skills to counsel families in all aspects of educational planning.